From: Simon Butcher (email@example.com)
Date: Sun Nov 09 2003 - 16:28:56 EST
> > However personally, when dealing with a octet, or an
> arbitrary number
> > of octets, I believe the byte-pictures would be much easier
> to deal with
> > (especially when dealing with a lot of raw data).
> Except that it would require 256 new codepoints, instead of
> just 6 for the
> proposed HEX DIGIT characters.
> What is complicate, when dealing with lot of raw data, to
> convert it to
> nibbles then coded with numeric code points, rather than converting
> bytes to code points? You just add a shift and mask operation
> to output
> 2 code points rather than just adding each byte as an offset of a base
> code point. Still, you need to convert your raw data to suitable code
> points to display the HEX BYTE characters.
I never said there was anything complicated about it, I said I personally prefer the hex byte characters - They're a much more compact and elegant solution to representing octets.
When dealing with protocol specifications, there's often a need for characters like these, too, since hex byte pictures are unambiguous. I have a DEC dumb terminal around here somewhere which also uses them when debugging control characters.
I suppose you could argue it's purely a formatting issue, though.
> What you propose is NOT a complementary set of digits for base 16,
> but a complete new set of numbers in base 256, so that a glyph
> like  will be displayed instead of just 0 (this is a
> of all the existing ASCII digits, as if it was a new script
> using its own
> numbering system)...
Well I didn't propose it, but I do like it! :)
> Other historic numbering systems are used today and better suited
> for representation, notably the compound base (12, 5), when
> people where counting the first digit in one hand with the
> first finger
> pointing on the 3 phallanges of the 4 other fingers, and the other
> hand was used to count the second order digit by raising each of
> its 5 fingers.
I do not see how historic numbering systems are appropriate for representing octets, which was the point of the proposal. I strongly doubt the Babylonians or the Mayans considered computer engineers would settle on 8-bits to a byte with base-60 or base-20 respectively.
I'm not sure what you meant by most of your message, though. I'm talking about representation, in a similar vein as the control pictures section (U+2400-243F), and not a numeric system.
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